Divorce Law in Greece
Greek divorce law is as rich in history as it is in detail.
In this fascinating area of law, where ancient cultural values meet modern legal frameworks, Greek divorce law offers a unique blend of tradition and contemporary legal practice.
Divorce law in Greece is rooted in the principles of Greek family law and the Greek Civil Code, and balances the preservation of family integrity with the individual rights of those involved in the dissolution of marriage.
Greek divorce law governs the equitable division of property, alimony, child custody and ensures the well-being of all parties after a divorce. It provides for both collaborative and contentious divorces, reflecting the diverse realities of marital relationships.
At the heart of our firm is the understanding that each case is as unique as the individuals involved.
Although detailed information is provided, no two cases are alike. Consultation with a Greek divorce lawyer is essential when dealing with life-changing issues such as international divorce, child custody or property division.
Grounds for Divorce in Greece
In Greece, the grounds for filing for a divorce can be broadly categorized into two types: at-fault (contested) and no-fault (consensual).
A consensual divorce occurs when both parties agree that the marriage cannot continue, so there is mutual consent to the divorce. It implies that the marriage has broken down beyond repair, but does not place the blame on either spouse.
According to Greek divorce law, the couple must usually have lived apart for a certain period of time, often two years, before they can file for a no-fault divorce.
A contested divorce, on the other hand, occurs when one spouse blames the other for the breakdown of the marriage and the couple cannot agree on the terms of the divorce.
Greek divorce law provides several grounds on which a contested divorce may be granted, including adultery (if one spouse has been unfaithful) and desertion (if one spouse has abandoned the other for a period of time).
The legal process and documentation required can vary depending on the specific grounds for divorce, so it’s advisable to consult with a legal professional for guidance tailored to your individual circumstances.
Our Greek Divorce Law Services
Experienced Greek Divorce Lawyers
Leptokaridou Law Firm offers comprehensive services related to Greek divorce law and are particularly experts in international divorces where one of the spouses is of Greek origin.
We are here to assist you and represent your interests in both a divorce by mutual consent and a divorce by contested divorce.
Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
We delve into the specifics of your situation, providing customized legal advice and outlining potential outcomes. Understanding the nuances of your case is critical, and our dedicated approach ensures that you’re equipped with the knowledge and insight you need to make informed decisions and navigate the road ahead.
Navigating a divorce doesn’t always have to be a contentious journey. Our mediation services provide a platform for couples to discuss and resolve key issues such as property division, child custody and financial support in a collaborative environment. Our role is to facilitate constructive dialogue with the goal of reaching mutually beneficial agreements that respect the interests of all parties. This service is designed to help you find amicable solutions and reduce the emotional and financial strain often associated with divorce proceedings.
Our collaborative divorce service offers a refreshing alternative to traditional litigation. In this process, both parties, along with their attorneys, engage in a series of structured negotiations to resolve their disputes amicably. This method emphasizes collaboration over confrontation, allowing couples to reach mutually satisfactory agreements. It’s a dignified approach that not only saves time and reduces stress, but also lays the groundwork for positive post-divorce relationships.
Representation in Divorce Proceedings
When things get complicated, we’re here to help you every step of the way. We will stand by your side in court, advocating for your rights and interests with expertise and dedication. Our approach combines a deep understanding of Greek divorce law with a commitment to achieving the best possible results for our clients.
International Divorce Cases
Multi-jurisdictional divorces bring additional layers of complexity, especially when dealing with issues such as international child custody disputes or cross-border property division. Our team specializes in handling such international divorce cases and is adept at navigating the interplay of different legal systems. We focus on protecting your rights and interests, providing expert guidance to achieve fair and legally sound results in these challenging scenarios.
Property and Asset Division
The division of marital assets and property in a divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process. Our skilled attorneys will guide you through every step, ensuring a fair and equitable division of assets. Whether it’s the family home, investments, or complicated financial holdings, we provide expert counsel to navigate these challenges, protect your financial interests, and ensure a stable future after divorce.
Spousal Support and Alimony
In the sensitive area of spousal support and alimony, we provide comprehensive guidance in determining eligibility, calculating fair amounts and negotiating settlements. We understand the importance of financial stability following a divorce and work diligently to ensure an equitable outcome. Our approach is to balance the financial needs and abilities of both parties, ensuring that the alimony agreement is fair, reasonable and in accordance with Greek law.
Child Custody and Visitation Rights
At the heart of any divorce involving children is the best interests and well-being of the children. Our legal experts provide compassionate and comprehensive advice on child custody and visitation, seeking arrangements that promote the child’s emotional and developmental needs. We negotiate with empathy and understanding, ensuring that the outcome serves the best interests of your children while respecting your rights as a parent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Read frequently asked questions about Greek divorce law
In the following Greek divorce law FAQs we cover all the most common concerns regarding matter: from the role that an attorney plays to the typical duration of a divorce proceeding in Greece, the financial implications of getting a divorce, and child custody.
What is the role of a lawyer in Greek divorce proceedings?
In Greek divorce proceedings, the role of a lawyer is multifaceted and crucial to the process, especially given the complexities of family law and the emotional nature of divorce.
Here are just a few of the key roles and responsibilities of an attorney in such cases:
- Legal advice and counselling: Lawyers provide expert legal advice tailored to the specifics of the client’s situation. They help clients understand their rights and obligations under Greek law, explain the divorce process and outline possible outcomes.
- Representation in court: In contested divorces, lawyers represent their clients in court. This includes preparing and filing the necessary legal documents, presenting the case, arguing on behalf of the client, and responding to the opposing party’s arguments.
- Negotiation and mediation: Attorneys often negotiate with the opposing party or their attorney to reach an amicable agreement on issues such as property division, child custody, and alimony. They may also participate in mediation sessions to facilitate mutually agreeable solutions.
- Drafting legal documents: This includes drafting and reviewing agreements related to the divorce, such as property settlement agreements, child custody agreements, and alimony agreements. These documents must be legally sound and accurately reflect the agreement between the parties.
- Protecting client interests: Lawyers work to ensure that their clients’ interests are protected throughout the divorce process. This includes advocating for fair financial settlements, appropriate child custody arrangements and adequate alimony.
- Handling complex issues: In cases involving complex issues, such as international divorces, high-asset divorces or child custody disputes, attorneys navigate the intricacies of these situations, ensuring compliance with relevant laws and seeking the best possible outcomes.
- Communicating with other parties: handle communications with the opposing party and their legal representatives, as well as with the court. This ensures that communications are professional, clear, and in accordance with legal protocols.
What is the typical duration of a divorce proceeding in Greece?
The length of a divorce proceeding in Greece can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of divorce (collaborative or contested), the complexity of the case, and the efficiency of the court system.
Contested divorces are usually quicker to resolve because they involve mutual agreement between the spouses on key issues such as property division, child custody and alimony. A collaborative divorce can take anywhere from a few months to about a year, depending on how quickly the couple reaches an agreement and the court’s schedule.
Contested divorces tend to take longer due to the nature of the disputes and the need for detailed court proceedings. A contested divorce in Greece can take anywhere from a few months to several years. The length depends largely on the complexity of the case, such as disputes over assets, custody issues and the need for detailed evidence and witness testimony.
In addition, if either party appeals the court’s decision, this can further extend the timeline.
It’s important to note that the Greek legal system, like many others, can experience delays due to various factors, including court backlogs and procedural requirements. In addition, the preparation phase prior to the actual filing of the divorce, during which the parties gather necessary documents and negotiate preliminary agreements, can also add to the overall timeline.
Individuals seeking a divorce in Greece should be prepared for these timeframes and seek legal advice for a more precise estimate based on their specific circumstances. An attorney experienced in Greek family law can provide guidance on how to potentially expedite the process and what to expect at each stage.
How is child custody determined in Greek divorce cases?
In Greek divorce cases, the determination of child custody is a matter of significant importance, and the primary consideration is always the best interests of the child.
The following are some of the most important factors that are considered:
- The best interests of the child: The paramount consideration in any child custody decision in Greece is the welfare and best interests of the child. This includes consideration of the child’s emotional, educational, social and physical needs.
- Parental ability: The court assesses each parent’s ability to care for the child, which includes looking at their emotional and psychological stability, financial ability, lifestyle, and the overall environment they can provide.
- Child’s wishes: Depending on the age and maturity of the child, the court may consider the child’s own preferences. Generally, the opinions of older and more mature children are given more weight.
- Parent-child relationship: The strength and quality of the child’s relationship with each parent is closely examined. The court tends to favor arrangements that maintain strong, stable and loving relationships with both parents.
- Siblings: Greek courts usually prefer to keep siblings together to maintain family ties and mutual support.
- Domestic violence or abuse: Any history of domestic violence, abuse or neglect by either parent will have a significant impact on the custody decision. The safety and protection of the child is paramount.
Once custody is determined, the court will also make visitation arrangements for the non-custodial parent to ensure that the child maintains a meaningful relationship with both parents.
It is important to note that child custody decisions are not final and can be revisited if circumstances change significantly. Parents may also mutually agree to modify custody arrangements, subject to court approval.
Given the complexity and highly individual nature of child custody cases, legal advice from a professional experienced in Greek family law is highly recommended.
What are the financial implications of getting a divorce in Greece?
The financial and tax implications of getting a divorce in Greece can be quite significant and should be carefully considered during the divorce process:
- Transfer of Property: When marital assets are divided and transferred as part of a divorce settlement, there may be tax implications. Depending on the nature of the assets and how the transfer is structured, transfer taxes or capital gains taxes may apply. For example, the transfer of real estate or stock may trigger such taxes.
- Alimony and child support: Alimony payments in Greece may have tax implications for both the payer and the recipient. The tax treatment of these payments can vary, and it’s important to understand how they are classified and taxed under Greek law. Child support payments, on the other hand, are generally not taxable for the recipient and are not tax deductible for the payer.
- Individual tax filings: After a divorce, individuals must file taxes separately, which may change their tax liability. The shift from joint to individual filing may affect income tax brackets and eligibility for certain deductions or credits.
- Settlements and lump sum payments: Any lump sum payments received as part of a divorce settlement may be taxable. It’s important to understand how these payments are classified under Greek tax law and what the tax liability may be.
- Division of business interests: If the divorce involves the division of business interests or shares in a company, this can have complex tax consequences. The valuation and division of these assets must be handled carefully to minimize potential tax liabilities.
- Capital gains from the sale of assets: If the divorce requires the sale of assets such as real estate or investments, capital gains tax may be an issue. The amount of tax depends on several factors, including how long the asset was held and the amount of gain realized.
- Tax debts and liabilities: Existing tax debts or liabilities are also a consideration in a divorce. It’s important to determine how these will be divided or assigned, as both parties could potentially be held responsible.
Keep this in Mind!
Divorce in Greece and Related Legal Matters
The Divorce Process in Greece
The divorce process in Greece is governed by specific legal principles that outline two main types of divorce: consensual and contentious.
Consensual divorces are based on mutual agreement, while contentious divorces require proof of specific legal grounds, such as adultery or desertion.
The process involves several procedural steps, beginning with the filing of a petition, followed by court hearings, and finally, the issuance of a divorce decree.
This legal framework ensures that both parties have the opportunity to present their case and that the final decision is made in accordance with Greek law.
Financial Support to Other Spouse
In Greece, alimony or spousal support is a critical consideration in divorce proceedings. The eligibility and amount of alimony is determined based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, the financial status of each spouse, and their respective contributions to the family unit.
The primary goal of alimony in Greek divorce law is to prevent the less financially stable spouse from suffering undue financial hardship after divorce. It recognizes that the economic effects of divorce may be uneven and seeks to provide a measure of financial balance and support.
The amount and duration of alimony are not standardized, but are determined based on the specific circumstances of each case. The court has the discretion to determine an appropriate amount that is fair and reasonable in light of the above factors.
Given the complexities involved in determining alimony under Greek divorce law, legal representation is highly recommended. As experienced Greek divorce lawyers, we can help you navigate the legal process, advocate for a fair alimony award, and ensure that all relevant factors are considered.
Minor Children Custody
The determination of child custody revolves around the best interests of the child.
The legal system evaluates various factors, including each parent’s ability to provide a stable and nurturing environment, in determining whether joint or sole custody is more appropriate.
Greek law generally favors joint custody arrangements, which encourage the continued involvement of both parents in the child’s life.
Child support in Greece is calculated with the primary objective of meeting the needs of the child. The amount is determined by considering various factors such as the income levels of both parents, the specific needs of the child, and any special circumstances that may affect the child’s upbringing. This ensures that the child’s standard of living is maintained after the divorce.
Property of the Spouse
The division of property upon divorce in Greece is governed by the principles of equitable distribution. This approach seeks to divide marital property in a manner that is fair and equitable, taking into account the circumstances of each spouse.
Greek law distinguishes between separate property and community property. Individual property includes assets owned by each spouse before the marriage, as well as inheritances and gifts received by a spouse during the marriage. Marital property, on the other hand, is property acquired by the couple during the marriage. This can include real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal property such as vehicles and furniture.
Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean a 50/50 division of assets. Instead, it means a fair distribution based on several factors, including each spouse’s financial contribution to the marriage, their future financial needs, the length of the marriage, and each party’s earning capacity. The court also considers non-financial contributions, such as homemaking and child rearing.
Determining the value of the marital property is an essential step in the division process. This may require appraisals and expert testimony, especially for assets such as real estate, business interests or complex investments.
The Greek court has considerable discretion in the division of marital property. Judges consider the specifics of each case to ensure that the division is fair and equitable. This can mean that the division of property can vary significantly from case to case, depending on the unique circumstances of the divorcing couple.
Given the complexities involved, legal assistance in the division of property during a divorce in Greece is crucial. A lawyer can provide invaluable guidance, representing the client’s interests and helping to ensure that the division of property is fair and in accordance with Greek law.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
Greek law distinguishes between legal separation and divorce.
Each option has different legal and social implications.
Legal separation allows couples to live apart without formally ending the marriage, while divorce legally dissolves the marriage.
A legal separation involves arrangements for financial support, child custody and property division, similar to a divorce. However, despite the physical and financial separation, the marriage continues legally.
This option is often chosen by couples who believe there is a possibility of reconciliation or who wish to remain married for personal, moral or religious reasons. It also allows for the preservation of certain marital benefits that would be lost in a divorce, such as inheritance rights or social security benefits.
Divorce, on the other hand, is the legal termination of a marriage. It is a more definitive step than legal separation and involves the complete severing of the marital bond. Once a divorce is finalized, both parties are free to remarry and the legal obligations and benefits of the marriage end. In a divorce, issues such as the division of marital property, child custody and support, and spousal support are addressed and legally resolved.
The choice between legal separation and divorce depends on a variety of factors, including the couple’s personal beliefs, future intentions, financial considerations, and the well-being of any children involved.
In both scenarios, the role of legal counsel is invaluable. An attorney can provide guidance on the implications of each option, help navigate the complexities of the legal process, and ensure that the rights and interests of each party are protected.
Contact Us for Your Divorce in Greece
Please write or call us if you are looking for an expert Greek divorce lawyer.
We are experts in international divorce cases related to Greek divorce law and are here to advise you at all stages of the process.
+49 30 88702382 (Berlin)
+30 2310 284408 (Thessaloniki)